Reservations in higher education


This post is a couple of weeks late, but better late than never. I had meant to post it right after all the [[http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&q=iit+reservations&btnG=Search+Blogs|brouhaha on increased reservations in IITs and IIMs]], but I was tied down with work. As countless others have said, I think this is a //really// dumb idea. If you agree, you probably don’t have to read further. If you don’t, the rest of the post will try to explain why I think so.

I’m not completely against the “idea” of reservations. Infact, done in the right place in the right amount, it might actually be a Good Thing. But therein lies the biggest problem — reservations are rarely done in the right places, let alone the right amount.

I think it is far better to focus such efforts in primary and secondary education, rather than higher education. Our democracy should try and ensure that each child has the opportunity for a basic education. Reservations should be about equal opportunity, but they should not supercede merit. The work force of the country is not child’s play. Anyone wanting to work //must// demonstrate sufficient merit for the task, irrespective of what caste he/she is from.

I’m not trying to discredit reservations. I’ve also read the story about reservation success stories. All those are fine. In all cases, you will notice that people came through for the opportunity they were given. They were not free-riders. The current reservations system seems to based on the premise that you can “jump start” people into success. Consequently, for the bulk of the junta out there, the quota system has just become yet another short-cut to the system, yet another kind of bribe. It is no surprise that [[http://www.deeshaa.org/2006/04/04/education-matters-part-1/|people consider "obtaining" an SC/ST certificate]]. Clearly, something is amiss.

The other part of the equation are those who belong to the SC/ST, but don’t really “need” reservations. I have several very good friends who are in this category. I sometimes feel bad for them, because atleast from my point of view, belonging to SC/ST has been somewhat of a stigma. Both parents and children in school would make conscious efforts to not bring up the fact that they were from SC/ST. I think the system as it stands is very unfair to such people. It seems all their achievements are undermined by the fact they are SC/ST. No one says it up front, but the minute people find out, at the back of their heads they’re thinking “haan, tabhi iska itna achha rank aa gaya hai”.

I have also seen several people who got into IIT on account of being SC/ST, and suffer. Yes, I said suffer. Because some of them didn’t want to or had planned to come to IIT in the first place. Some of them were simply unprepared. You can’t just make up for years of lost education in your first sem at IIT, it doesn’t work that way. Its degrading for these students, who are shoved into one of the “premier” institutes. Some people make the best of the situation and come out victorious. Others are crushed, their self-respect and confidence depleted.

Who really is benefiting from this system? Most certainly not the people who the system was //intended// to benefit. But I can understand that its a game of numbers and statistics. Picking isolated examples from here and there, one might construct a case either way. I can also buy the argument that in a democracy the size of India, there is bound to be some collateral damage, but in the grand scheme of things, everything will even out and we will come out a better nation (though it would be better if we had some numbers to back this wishful thinking). **But 50%?** Thats just insane!!

I hope the HRD ministry is not deaf. I hope the press will sense all the discontent floating around this proposition, and make sure that the government listens. I hope that the people on both sides of the camp realize that increasing reservations to 50% in higher education will //not// solve **any** problem, either in the short-term or the long-term.

58 comments

  1. sathyamurthy

    Dear friend,

    HRD ministry do not bother above the quality of Managers, engineers , doctors to be produced from INDIA, but interested only in getting Votes by doing a cheap politics in the country. We have already spoiled the moral of the student community by providing 50 % reservation in the education ( Other than TOP education institutions ) and employment ( Other than Private sector) system.

    Now it is a turn to spoil theses also. To win vote the other party will say they are incline to provide 70 % reservation. Then there is no end.

    This shows that we are not inclined to impove the standard of the student by providing then speical coaching to enable them to compete with others and prove their capacity.

  2. Priyendra Deshwal

    Hum bata rahe hai halle gulle se kuchh na hoga :( Mandal ke time pe kitna hulla hua tha … itney andolan itney dharney. Par kuchh na ukhad paaye. Moti moti baat yeh hai ki no political party can oppose such a move or else it is labelled anti-backward and anti-minority. Bahut hi sad state of affairs hai!

  3. diwaker

    *@satyamurthy*: Yeah, it all sounds very disparaging. I think the SC/ST community should take an initiative and try to spread awareness about the issue, dispell the myths that surround reservations. Without their support, its unlikely that we’ll make much progress.

    *@psd*: yaar yeh to kaafi zyada depressing hai. I mean, is there any hope at all? Matlab agar aise hi sochne lage to kabhi bhi kuchh na ho payega. Atleast apni taraf se vocally discontent to voice kar hi sakte hain. I’m actually glad now that Paritrana is/was getting so much coverage — hopefully they will be heard and can bring up these issues.

    *@jeevan*: thanks for your comment. Is that your real email address? My spam filters almost threw your comment away.

  4. chandni

    A very well written post that explains your perspective extremely clearly…

    And I completely agree…I would go with what you said in the begining that if at all, one should be focussing on primary and secondary education…50% is insane from any perspective..

    Hopefully the govt will realsie that this idea, might get them votes…but is counterproductive at best…a step that India cant afford to take at this time.

  5. Guru Panguji

    Yup! Agree man, completely!

    I’m not completely against the “idea” of reservations. Infact, done in the right place in the right amount, it might actually be a Good Thing. But therein lies the biggest problem – reservations are rarely done in the right places, let alone the right amount.

    Yup!! EXACTLY the problem with the system! But then again, the Indian Govt would have the analysis on how people _do_ take advantage of the system. Consequently, the 50% reservation is a definite NO No!!

  6. The Lonely Furrow

    Guys, let us start a revolution. Let there be 100% Reservations! Let there be a new parallel education / job system, where the students / workers, management and even the friggin sweepers are appointed with reservations. And let there be 0% reservations in all the other institutions.

    The time the OBC etc is born, he will have a certain admission into the reservation education system. He can study till whatever time he wants to. The teachers too are 100% from the reservation cadre. The reservation student after completion of his studies, will have an assured job in the Government. After all, didn’t Nehru say that another purpose of the Public Sector was to generate employment?

  7. diwaker

    *@the lonely furrow*: hmm, sounds interesting. I didn’t know whether to laugh or give it a serious thought. Given the current system, any alternative seems plausible :-)

  8. sangeeta mishra

    Reservation in B-School, Med-College – A Political trump card

    Its more then 50 years of our Independence , the country has stand out one of the largest democratic country in the World, having a stable economy since decades and vast growth in the sectors like IT , Healthcare , infrastructure , banking and finance etc.since then all this has happened due to the excellent caliber skills of our Engineers, Doctors & Management Graduates , who undoubtedly built the basic infrastructure of our economy .this truth is known to all still the government is imposing reservation in Management Schools , Medical Colleges and Engineering Colleges, inviting the least to bypass the intelligent brain.

    There was times when Asian were treated like slaves in western countries but with the passage of time India emerged out of this impression and today the scenario has changed , Worlds powerful country USA invites Indian talent to make their country grow. In the recent visit of President Bush, the president specifically praised the talent and its origin and also announced more H1B-Visas to Indians.
    Today people comes to India findings the best healthcare sector,all the big shot companies are jumping to fulfill their desire to work and invest in India, seeing the birth place of many legends Management guru(s) all the big names Azim Premji, Kumar Mangalam Mukesh Ambani, Sudhakar Reddy, Dr. N.R Narayana Murthy , Kiran. Muzumdar of Biocon are the result of the our Engineering Colleges, Medical Institutes and Business School. Imposition of reservation – a quota for OBC’s would bring the disaster in future , the name India has earned in decades will be vanish in few years .

    The 50odd years was plenty time our government has gained to bring the other backward caste to live a modest life, provided the facility to of basic education and healthcare, Now they are enough exposed to come and sit in competition with the general category student and make the mark of excellence
    then why Reservation….?
    Can Government appoint a least qualified professional to manage the technical show at Bhaba Atomoic Nuclear Centre , Can the prime minister get himself treated by a doctor who came in quota having a minimum knowledge of medical treatment?

    Just for the sake of political benefits how the government can do such a nuisance of asking the least and minimum know ledged professional to run the show , Instead why not the government built basic education system strong enough , which can make the OBC class people also think and act like a general category student . let me recall to Sonia ji her main agenda was “ the Common minimum Program” Providing the basic amenities of Shelter, food and education to all , then make this program so strong that even the OBC ,SC,ST And Weaker Section Classes to be genuinely covered and let them get exposed to world with equal IQ.

    Let Bring Equality then partiality

  9. june nandy

    I liked lonely furrow’s idea.I absolutely agree with him.But let’s not let them loot us.I’ve almost become an educated coolie in this system where my work pays for their inefficiencies.

  10. sidharth

    Hi guys,
    There is no hope for the upper castes in India. We must keep in mind the fact that today we are nothing more than a persecuted minority in India. We do not count in the calculations of the political parties. Our future is doomed if we continue to remain what we are, a part of this system. I agree with Priyendra Deshwal that the future of upper caste community is extremely dark.
    Diwaker, no amount of show of any discontent is going to make any difference. The only way forward is to carve out a separate country for the upper castes or probably to have an autonomous belt (comprising around 22% of the area of India since non-reservation category people minus the Muslims constitute around 22% of Indian population) within the Indian union but free to pursue independent economic and social policies. All upper castes, in course of time, would move to this belt and this would be as good as being independent from the rest of India.
    You can read the blog of Sawarnaland and the death of India on sulekha.com or or rediff blogs. I have posted everything in detail about what to do to achieve such an objective.
    with regards,
    Sidharth,
    A soldier of Sawarnaland, the future home state of all the upper castes

  11. Rose

    In agree with the man’s perspectives..thats true..Also it would be better if the Govt. focussed more on providing resevations for the Economic Backward people other than the Caste…Even after 59 yrs of independence, its sad to see that “We” the so called citizens of democratic India still have Casteism which is one of the drawbacks for our country….HATS OFF TO MR.DIWAKER FOR WRITING THIS.

  12. rajinder

    no way how much u r educated…..but caste is a big reality in India…what ever u become………doctor, engineer, scientist, researher, teacher………..
    u will be called …….by ur caste……..
    this is reality that whole indian…….population understands……..and not able to speak with brave/hard heart..MERIT should be their……..in every FIELD…
    but if u think social equality prevails in shining india
    it is not true…..Why u all people not talk about social equality……….? every…is getting reservation profits…but they dont talk of themselves….a brahmin can only be pandit.. not other.u see all big temples.and their mangements..AND IF U ALL THINK INDIA IS NOT DEVELOPING DUE TO RESERVATIONS ONLY..WHY BECAUSE OF MORE THAN 75% APPROX GENERAL CATEGORY PERSONS IN EVREY SPHERE OF INDIA.. ARE NOT ABLE TO MAKE INDIA A DEVELOPED COUNTRY…
    WHY THEIR ARE NOT SO MUCH RESARCH ARTICLES IN HIGH IMPACT PAPERS LIKE NATURE …….OF PERSONS FROM INDIA
    WHY THEIR ARE NOT MUCH PATENTS FILED IN TECHNOLOGY
    WHY NOT WE HAVE NOBEL PRIZES……ATLEAST IN LITERATURE
    HOW MANY SCIENTISTS ARE AWARDED BY WORLD CLASS UNIVERSITIES..
    AND THEIR IS NPO RESERVATIONS IN SPORTS AND NOT MUCH PRIZES…..

    WE ALL ARE RESPONSILBLE FOR OUR PROBLEMS…….
    WE DONT ACCEPT THE OTHERS PROBLEMS AND ONLY TALK ABOUT OURSELVES ONLY …………ONE LAST WORD ..
    NO RESERVATIONS …….BUT ALSO SOCIAL EQUALITY ………
    WHICH IS A DREAM ONLY

  13. Pingback: ..
  14. vinit chaudhary

    reservations se sab ko problem kyon ho rahi hai ye to sirf apply karne tak hai uske baad to entrance test ke base par admission milta hai, jab score accha nahi hoga to admission kaise milega ye kyon nahi sochte sab. ye jaroori nahi ki jinke percentage acchi nahi hoti vo intelligent nahi hote, maine bahut dekha hai un logo ko jo apni percentage risvat dekar badvalete hain aur aisa bahut hota hai isliye only marks ke basis par kisi ke talent ko nahi jan sakte specially degree percentages ke basis par to bilkul bhi nahi. aur agar ye sab andolan karne se tum kuch nahi kar sakte, tum apne fayde ke liye hi sab kuch kar rahe ho kyonki tumhe bhi pata hai ki kya sach hai jo maine likha hai par tum kitne salon se sab ko apne jal mein fasa kae apna fayda nikal rahe ho par ab aur nahi

  15. Diwaker Gupta

    *@vinit*: I find it weird that your name and your email address don’t match. Not good for spam filters you know! Just something to keep in mind for the future.

    Meanwhile regarding your comment, I don’t fully agree. People in SC/ST quota get admitted at extremely low scores as well, your argument about not getting admitted if scores are not good doesn’t hold water.

    As far as bribing people to get your marks increased is concerned, its probably true for the local colleges. Since this whole discussion pertains to reservations in institutes like IITs and IIMs, lets talk about them. Till date, I have not heard a *single* case where someone managed to get into IIT with a bribe.

    Yes, exams can never be the perfect judge for talent. But then what can? No method can be perfect, but we have to do _something_ and I think entrance exams are a good compromise.

  16. june nandy

    Bills empowered by feelings.
    Our governing ministers strongly “feels” for the Backward classes/communities and they have substituted feelings for “reasoned thoughts”.Else how can one justify the present as well as the ersthwhile quota bills? When reason takes a backseat in a society it is doomed to crumble down.That is why we havn’t produced world class scientists and personas in other fields.
    junenandy

  17. Diwaker Gupta

    *@june*: I doubt our ministers “feel” for anyone. The only thing they feel for is elections. I wouldn’t mind if the government was actually seriously interested in the upliftment of society. These bills clearly don’t help in doing that.

  18. june nandy

    Let me speak my mind for just once.They fear to compete with us having superior intelligence,our mind is a threat to them, they cry that we leave no chance to them,so they make bills to enslave us. Yes I am a fool thet I agree to exist on such terms.Hail the era of savagery having no objective reasoning.Let them grab a fast profit and run and get promoted to the upper echeleons. Rang de Basanti asks us to change the system being in the system. Here I am in the system of quicksand.The gang of mediocrity will keep on thrusting laws and bills to tie and to restrict us and force us to fail.But I should keep on struggling till they succeed,till they seize my rewards.
    June Nandy

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  20. Toma

    Hi all! I just started my first semester. I was wondering if anyone could provide me with some information on “the role and functions of education”. Does anyone really believe education is the only priority? People say that education is vital and is a priority. Like a list of the points or something like that, and email it to me please: toma@audiohome.org I would really appreciate the help! I need it before Thursday!
    Thanks! Toma

  21. NIDHI

    HI ALL,
    I REALLY WANT TO APPRECIATE UR EFFORTS.ITS REALLY A MATTER OF GREAT CONCERN.IM ALSO AGAINST RESERVATIONS IN HIGHER EDU. COZ IM AS STUDENT KNOW HOW HAZARDIOUS IT IS FOR OUR FUTURE.I WANT SOME BASICS,ADVANTAGES/DISADVANTAGES,SUGGESTIONS ON DIS TOPIC.I HOPE U VIL FAVOUR.WATING FOR UR REPLY.PLZ MAIL ME AT:
    chirkut13@yahoo.ca
    THANX

  22. mudita khandelwal

    I am agree with the auther.Reservation should be given but only for those who need it.It should not be given on the caste basis but on the economic basis.In this way,needy person will get the advantages of it and people will get the advantages of it.Aakhir 70% marks wale student se 30% wala student kaise behtar ho sakta hai and we really want to make india develop,then we have to stop reservation in this way warna ek din is aag mein ham sabhi jal jayenge.India is the only country in the world where everyone wants to get down through because of this reservation.

  23. indrajit

    OBC quota is required for the upliftment of underpreviledge students.Those from lower caste suffer a lot due to proverty.They do not get enough infrastructure to compete with those student who are previledge.
    I would like to appeal all to support 27% reservation for OBC quota.

    Thanks!

  24. indrajit

    OBC quota is required for the upliftment of underpreviledge students.Those from lower caste suffer a lot due to proverty.They do not get enough infrastructure to compete with those student who are previledged.
    I would like to appeal all to support 27% reservation for OBC quota.

    Thanks!

  25. RAZZY

    RESERVATION SHOUD BAND BCUS AT THE NAME OF RESER THOSE WHO NOT CAPABALE ARE EASILY GET JOB & TALENT PEPOLE ARE ROMING JOBLESS & IN REALTY THOSE WHO NEED RESER. THEY EVEN DON’T KNOW WHAT IS D IMP OF RESER. IN RURAL AREA PEPOLE WANT RASER.BUT THEY DON’T GET IT & NOW ALSO THEY TREAT LIKE A DALIT OR UNTOUHABALE PEPOLE SO WHAT IS THE USE OF RASER.IF IT IS BAND ATLEAST YOUNG GENRASTION CAN SHOW THEAR TALENT & ALSO THE DIFRANCE BETWEEN PEPOLE WILL FINICE BCUE RESER.SHOW THE HIGHER CAST &LOWER CAST . HENCE ACCORDING TO ME THIS RESERVATION SHOUD BAND & GIVE EQUAL OPPURTUNITY TO EVERY ONE IN EVERY FIELD.

  26. Himi

    Hi friends i need some info on the topic RESERVATIONS IN HIGHER EDUCATION….
    Its not only very inportant but also very urgent…hope i will get a positive response 4m your side….thank u

  27. ashish agarwal

    i need some info on the topic RESERVATIONS IN HIGHER EDUCATION.
    Hope i will get a positive response 4m your side….thank u

  28. Nimit Shah

    i totally agree with you, this reservation will not o anything apart from increase in vote bank. The idea of reservation was to help the people who could not afford the charges. but now the time has changed, and accordingly we also have to change.
    i would suggest two things 4 this
    1. Reservation should b on INCOME basis , rather than on CAST basis
    2. It should only b limited to schooling. not for higher studies or job

  29. indrajit

    Please help backward people to grow. Do not suppress them.They need oportunity and some more time to come up as other previledge people.

  30. Nimit Shah

    my frnd indrajeet, thats truw that those who r poor , need some help
    but plz dont say that those who r in lower cast , they r poor
    thats not the case now
    thats y i firmly believe that reservation should b only and only on the basis of the income/financial condition , if at all ….

  31. Nisha Gupta

    hello Diwakar, u have written a very nice article and i do agree
    with you but not completely. like evry coin has two sides, every issue
    has some positive and some negative effects. You have spoken only
    about the negative ones. I think you shd think about the positive ones
    as well.

  32. Nimit Shah

    hello nisha
    thats true that every coin has two sides
    but here if u think that this will help the people of lower cast, then its not so
    now a days , its very easy to find the illegal certificate of LOWER CAST….. and u might b aware of that
    and due to this reservation , neither even very small amount of lower cast , nor the people of higher cast get advantage
    and if we wish to have reservation, there must b some limit…..
    if the percentage of the reserved seats keep increasing this way, we can surely see the future with people of so called UPPER CLASS in minority…..
    and then they will need reservation…..

  33. Nimit Shah

    hey , can anybody tell me that what is the exact percentage of reservation in higher education currently?
    hope to get a reply frnds
    thank you

  34. vartika chaudhary

    i have one query to clear here everyone is talking abut reservation and stuff like that and giving there comments on the issue is there any accurate solution to the remedy bec if reservation are abolished then the lowercaste will suffer and if increased then the whole nation will.Can the reservation be made on 2 criteria socoi+economic please due reply

  35. Nimit Shah

    you have raised a very good point vartika
    but in this nation , where every politician is searching the ways to increase his/her “vote banks” and his/her “Money Bank” , its almost next to impossible that socio-economic sort of reservation take place

  36. ISHAN TYAGI

    YOU HAVE WRITTEN GOOD I TOO FEEL THAT RESERVATIONS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
    CURBS THE MERITORIOUS STUDENTS FOM GETTING WHAT THEY DESERVE BUT WE
    CAN HAVE RESERVATIONS IN SCHOOL EDUCATION.

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  38. shruti khunteta

    ya i agree to your views which are stated and want to add my views to
    it that peple who got degres throgh quotas we cannot give our country
    in these hands…

    shruti khunteta

  39. shruti khunteta

    ya i agree to your views which are stated and want to add my views to
    it that peple who got degres throgh quotas we cannot give our country
    in these hands…

  40. Manoj Kumar Singh

    The reservations should have been for those poor people. And its better to completely eliminate the reservations and provide scholarships to the ppor students to get to the higher education, then they will be able to compete for any job.

  41. kuldeep pareek

    in my view, its should be over now to provide any reservation through criteria of caste, either in primary or higher education, coz poor can be of any caste, so it should be same for both

  42. kavitha

    increase in the quality is not all sure by increasing the reservation seat. only through entrace that too not taking in account the mark academically do good for high uality professionals. reservation make many others benefit politicalli or economically.
    in ISRO if reservation is followed, rockets will come down only after seconds.

  43. Nimit Shah

    hello kavitha, u have raised a good point here
    this reservation is only going to b beneficial for some special people in our country. the Normal Person will never get the benefits. And not only in ISRO but in each and every area, this will ruin the future.

  44. Nimit Ladhawala

    hey frnds,
    how are you
    i need your help..
    will you plz help me.
    actually i m doing my MBA from UBS,Chandigarh.
    i have to conduct a servey, and i have choosen the topic Reservation in higher education.
    i have prepared a questionnaire
    and i want it to b filled by u all.
    if u r agree, and specially the owner allows me to do so, can i send the questionnaire?
    hoping for the favourable reply
    thank u
    Nimit

  45. Deepak Mandowara

    i think res. is not best solution for upliftment of backword classes.but it hinder the capabibilities of lower class people bcoz they always think that we have resr. so we will easily get admission.if the reser. is not there than i think the lower class people will do work hard and more efficiently.reservation hinders the growth of people.
    i think res. shuld be based on economic condition not cast based so that the poorer get benefit from that and ultimately the economic condition of India will improve……

  46. Hasan

    Dear sir, its really very nice article upon this matter,Thanks for sharing this with us.
    Sir can you please send me an essay on this topic,i will be thankful to you.

  47. Sekhar Roy

    Just a few weeks ago, Indian government has asked all its autonomous bodies/boards to incorporate in their statutes the provisions for reservation for sc/st/obc immediately in order to strengthening legal backing of the uttered sections of beneficiaries. So frustrated lots will continue to cry for not getting its share snatched by those beneficiaries through parliamentarian enactment/ ordinance etc. in order to sustain in power politics. The situation will never be changed unless some amendment is brought in Indian Constitution to abolish caste based reservation which seems to be a distant dream. It is therefore good for the aggrieved people to keep a vigil on proper implementation of SC/ST/OBC Rules everywhere so that they are not given more than their due share and further affect the interest of the general category.

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